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Spray-on skin relieves emotional trauma for child burn victims

Spray-on skin is helping child burns victims cope with the trauma of scarring, according to a study by University of Queensland researchers at the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane.

A study has shown most children reported an improvement in the appearance of their scars and were happier when they used the product, called Microskin.

The new liquid spray-on skin technology, which binds to the topmost layer of skin, is a world first Australian invention. It is waterproof and sweat-resistant, with one application lasting three to four days.

Researchers at the Stuart Pegg Paediatric Burns Centre and UQ's Department of Psychiatry collaborated to evaluate the effect of Microskin on the emotional and behavioural functioning of 20 young patients with burn scarring.

Department of Psychiatry Senior Research Technician Sarah Swannell said 85 percent of all children reported their scars looked either "much better" (40 percent) or "better" (45 percent) with Microskin.

"Eighty percent of children felt happier or 'mostly' happier, as well as more confident, when they had Microskin covering their scars," Ms Swannell said.

Twenty children, with an average age of twelve years were involved in the study. The vast majority of children indicated they enjoyed social outings more when wearing Microskin.

Most children could not feel Microskin on their skin. The study also showed that use of the product lead to improvements in how the patient's family functioned.

Internationally renowned burns specialist Associate Professor Roy Kimble said the research showed Microskin was a significant breakthrough for the psychological damage of burns.

"Children with burns can experience emotional difficulties as a result of physical disfigurement. This product can help alleviate these difficulties and help with a patient's overall recovery and rehabilitation," he said.


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Contact: Marlene McKendry
61-73-346-4713
Research Australia
28-Jul-2006


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